Red or Blue Pill

Categories: SocietyThe Matrix

In The Matrix the character Morpheus asks Neo to either take a red pill or a blue pill. The red pill would show Neo the truth as to what the Matrix really is and the blue pill would allow him to just go back to what would be his “normal” life and never know what really exists. Neo ends up taking the red pill and discovers that he is actually living in a virtual world and that his body is actually in a “coma-like” state in a large room along with everyone else living in the Matrix.

The question of which pill to choose is really asking us whether reality and truth is worth going after. The blue pill would leave us as we are in a life full of habits and things that we believe we know. In this “reality” we are comfortable and don’t need truth to live. The blue pill symbolizes us brushing our teeth and going to work everyday.

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The red pill is full of unknowns. We are told that taking the red pill will help us find the truth. We don’t, however, know what the truth really is or even what the pill will help us discover. The red pill embodies risk, doubt, and questioning. In order to discover the truth you take the pill and gamble your whole world on a reality you’ve never experienced.

The advantage of taking the blue pill is that it confirms that “ignorance is bliss.” If the truth remains unknown or you believe that you are all-knowing of truth then there shouldn’t be anything to question or worry about.

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By accepting what we are told and experience then life can be easier. There is a social pressure to fit in which is incredibly strong in society. Morpheus tells Neo that people aren’t prepared to be “unplugged” from the Matrix and that many of them are so used to and dependent the system they will do anything to protect it.

The discussion of the red and blue pill is related to Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” This theory states that everyone is chained to pillars in a cave that is only lit by a fire behind us. Our shadows are shown from the fire on the wall in front of us and this is how we see the world. Due to this our reality is shaped differently, the limited view from the cave is what we take as reality. We are unaware that there is more outside of the cave. Our minds cannot comprehend that anything else can be reality. Those that take the red pill are the ones that are willing to step out of the cave and discover true knowledge. Those that take the blue pill are the people that remain chained to the pillars are continue to view the world just through the shadows. The people on the cave that decide against leaving are so caught up in the shadows on the wall that they don’t believe those that have gone outside of the cave and are trying to convince them there is more to the world than just what’s in the cave. This is how Neo and the rest of the population inside the Matrix felt. To them reality is what they see, touch, hear, smell, and taste.

I like this theory because it perfectly describes the way some people live their lives. A lot of people in the world live their lives inside of a box and are extremely sheltered to what is actually going on around them. It is unfortunate to see this because those people are ignorant to anything happening outside of their box and make no attempt to discover anything new. Plato would tell them to step outside of their box and gain more knowledge about what else is going on in the world. It is hard for people who are sheltered to say that they would step outside of their box because being in their box is all they have ever known and they don’t want to be outside of their comfort zone.

If I had the choice of taking the red or blue pill I would choose to take the red pill. One reason being wanting to discover true existence and appreciate the truth. I would also want to acquire the knowledge to determine the amount of control I have on my own life. Another reason behind this is that I believe knowledge is power and by knowing what really is happening in The Matrix then hopefully I would be able to convince and educate more people who live in denial. There are a lot of people that would be satisfied by just continuing their lives the way they are and remain ignorant to the truth. In Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” these would be the people that are satisfied living in the cave.

Some people might think that it would be worse to find out that everything they thought was reality was really an illusion, rather than continuing their lives not knowing. If I had found out that everything in my lie was just an illusion I would be extremely disappointed because that would mean everything and everyone that I thought I knew and loved was not real. I would, however, still want to know the truth because I know that the “truth will set you free.”

In the movie, after Neo finds out the truth, he is able to enter back into the Matrix and completely manipulate and control it. If I knew the truth I would want to do something similar, almost like lucid dreaming. During a lucid dream your subconscious is aware that you are dreaming and therefore you are able to control it and do things that you know you can get away with just because you are in a dream. This is how I would treat my virtual world if I took the red pill. Facing reality would be painful but everyone should experience that. That would complete us as humans because these experiences shape us as people and make us stronger.

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Red or Blue Pill. (2021, Oct 05). Retrieved from

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